who are we?
The Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium is a consortium originally formed by three organisations
- The Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health at the University of Glasgow
- The Scottish Government's Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (EPIC)
- Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
Researchers in these organisations jointly responded to a call by the Royal Society to develop more epidemiological models of COVID-19 spread (RAPID ASSISTANCE IN MODELLING THE PANDEMIC: RAMP), in order to develop a more robust and clearer understanding of the impacts of different exit strategies from lockdown. Scientists from several other organisations across the UK and abroad have now joined the consortium to provide additional expertise in specific areas.
What are we doing?
Members of the original consortium have extensive experience in responding to animal disease outbreaks and modelling the spread and control of animal diseases. Modelling animal disease outbreaks shares many of the same approaches and challenges as modelling COVID-19. We are adapting existing large-scale animal disease models to assess different potential medium- and long-term strategies for controlling the COVID-19 epidemic in UK and in Scotland.
Our epidemiological models of COVID-19 spread are open source and are being developed in public on the SCRC GitHub.
Updates on our progress
The Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium (SCRC) has continued to develop over the last few months, now including a total of over 150 members from over 30 different organisations from across the UK. Volunteers have come together from academia, government institutions and public companies, to join the teams working on the six COVID-19 models now included within the consortium.
Each model has a dedicated team of experts working to progress model development both technically (through comprehensive research software engineer support) and scientifically. As well as the six teams dedicated to individual models, the consortium also includes central teams dedicated to data management, epidemiology, inference, uncertainty quantification, visualisation and policy implications.
The consortium’s commitment to not only developing robust models but supporting them with data that is traceable and transparently sourced, has led to development of a sophisticated data pipeline. This data pipeline will allow the consortium, as a whole, to record and correlate data and model outputs at a remarkably high level of detail.
As well as developing each of the models individually, across the SCRC models are being used to cross-validate each other to ensure as much verification as possible is carried out between the models within the consortium. An important focus, currently being addressed using both fine- and regional-scale models, is the quantification of difficult to measure characteristics of the epidemic using inference from data.
Thanks to several new volunteers specialising in visualisation, SCRC is also now able to integrate visualisation at every stage of the model development and output process. Visualisation of both data inputs and model outputs is allowing modellers and software engineers to process large amounts of information more efficiently, as well as displaying model outputs clearly.
Progress continues on all fronts, with SCRC planning to have the first model outputs ready to advise policy by the end of July.